Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Saptha Vidanga Sthalams- Seven Temples for Shiva with a Common Legend- Padal Petra Sthalams

The Saptha Vidangar sthalams the seven places around Tiruvarur where lord Shiva is the raja (Thyagaraja), A separate sannidhi is maintained for this deity in soma Skanda form ( Sa + Uma + Skanda =Shiva along with Uma and Skanda on the Vrishabaha ) with a Maragatha (emerald) lingam and with its own dance form unique during the procession. The Nandi will be standing in front of the sannidhi as it is a Raja Sabha. It’s also written in the thevaram hymns that these temples were already existent before the Thyagaraja deity was installed with its Lingam (Vidangar).
All these seven temples are part of the same legend of Lord Indra donating seven Shiva lingams to Muchukunda Chakravarthy a Chola king  who obtained a boon from Lord Indra and wished to receive the Shiva linga gifted to Lord Indra by Sri Mahavishnu.Lord Indra tested the king. He had six other Maragatha (Emerald) Lingas made, and asked Muchukunda Chakravarthy to choose the right one. The king chose the right Maragatha Lingam and installed it at Tiruvarur. The other six Shiva lingams were installed in Thirunallar, Thirukkuvalai, Nagapattinam, Tirukaravasal, Tiruvaimur, and Vedaranyam. All the seven temples are in villages situated along the river Cauvery. All seven Thyagaraja images are said to dance when taken in procession (it is the bearers of the processional deity who actually dance). The temples with dance styles are regarded as Saptha Vidangam (seven dance moves) and the related temples are as under:
Tiruvarur Thyagarajar Temple
Name of the Siva lingam: Vidhividangar
Dance form: Ajaba natanam
Dance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Lord Vishnu's chest 
My blog of this temple: click to see my blog on Tiruvarur temple
Thirunallar Dharbaranyeswarar Temple
Name of the Siva lingam: Nagaradangar
Dance form: Unmatha natanam
Dance of an intoxicated person 

Nagapattinam Kayarohanaswamy TempleName of the Siva lingam: Sundaravidangar
Dance form: Vilathi natanam
Dancing like waves of sea 
Click here: read my blog on this temple
Thirukkaravasal Kannayariamudayar Temple
Name of the Siva lingam: Adhividangar
Dance form: Kukuta natanam
Dancing like a cock 
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Thirukuvalai Brahmapureeswarar Temple
Name of the Siva lingam: Avanividangar
Dance form: Brunga natanam
Dancing like a bee that hovers over a flower 
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Thiruvaimur Vaimoornaathar Temple
Name of the Siva lingam: Nallavidangar
Dance form: Kamala natanam
Dance like lotus that moves in a breeze
Click here for: My blog on this temple
Vedaranyam Vedaranyeswarar TempleName of the Siva lingam: Bhuvanivividangar
Dance form: Hamsaptha nataanam
Dancing with the gait of a swan
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The map below shows the 7 temples
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It is possible to see all the seven temples in a single day and is considered auspicious. The temples are all open from6 AM to 12 -1 noon and re open by 4PM to 7-8 PM. Tiruvarur alone is open longer both times. The abhishekam of these Saptha lingams is done in all these temples twice a day. The rest of the time they are in a special safe under lock and key as they are priceless. A few of them have been stolen and in Thirukuvalai the Lingam has recently been retrieved .In Tiruvarur alone the evening abhishekam is referred to as Saya rakshapuja and Lord Indra himself is believed to come here daily during that time with all the devas to conduct the puja